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Study: avoid dexamethasone for chronic subdural haematoma

Study: avoid dexamethasone for chronic subdural haematoma

A common treatment for chronic subdural haematoma could lead to a worse outcome than receiving no medication, suggests new research funded by the NIHR.

Chronic subdural haematoma is one of the most common neurological disorders and mainly affects older people. People affected often have headaches, deteriorating memory, confusion, balance problems or limb weakness. Surgery to drain the liquid collection is effective with the majority of patients improving.

A commonly used steroid, dexamethasone, has been used alongside surgery, or instead of it, since the 1970s. However, consensus has been lacking regarding its use, especially since no high-quality studies confirming its effectiveness had been conducted until now.

Led by the University of Cambridge, a group of doctors and researchers from 23 neurosurgical units in the UK enrolled 748 patients with chronic subdural haematoma in the “Dexamethasone in Chronic Subdural Haematoma (Dex-CSDH)” randomised trial, including seven at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.

Read more on the NIHR website.